As promised, I will now be reviewing the patisseries that I visited in Paris! I went to France armed with a list of six patisseries that I had researched and was eager to sample. I only managed to visit four because they were inconveniently located in completely different parts of the city (I know…how dare they!)
So, first, I went in search for Jacques Genin’s patisserie at 133 rue de Turenne but when we eventually found this street, there was a closed brown door at number 133 paired with a confused look on my face. However, at 134 rue du Turenne, there was a patisserie! I have absolutely no idea whether this is Jacques Genin’s shop but either way it was a good find. The bakery was clearly very popular with the locals as we had to queue for ten minutes before we even got into the shop! The queue was similar to those found on the Champs-Elysées and frankly, I’d rather queue for the perfect baguette than a handbag. Perfect the baguette was too; as we got closer to the window, we discovered that the patisserie had won 2nd best and 9th best baguette in Paris (on separate years of course) so we eagerly anticipated this delicious treat. We ordered a ham baguette and a tarte au citron and they were incredibly delicious. As I mentioned in my previous blog, it’s astonishing the difference between English and French food and this baguette was another example of this; so simple and yet so perfect, I was instantly addicted. The tarte au citron was also very delicious, light buttery pastry and a sharp, yet sweet, filling that wasn’t too acidic.
On our way to the next patisserie, we passed a very tempting bakery and of course, I cannot help but give in to temptation where baked goods are involved so we went in. I think that the bakery was called ‘Reves 180’ but I’ve included a photo anyway.
Here, I bought a chouquette and a viennoise chocolat. The viennoise was sadly disappointing as I found it quite bland but this may have been my expectation of it tasting more like brioche, which clearly it wasn’t. The chouquette however was so simple and yet so delicious. I’d heard of chouquettes before and desperately wanted to try them when I saw Rachel Khoo make them on her TV show and in her cookery book ‘The Little Paris Kitchen’. They are almost bite size balls of choux pastry coated in sugar nibs and were very nice, I can quite see myself being obsessed with them if I were a young child in France…wait a minute, I can quite see myself becoming obsessed with them anyway! I will definitely be looking into trying Rachel Khoo’s recipe for these delicious bites and I’d like to try them with chocolate chips as well as sugar nibs.
After this delicious diversion, we were back on our way and heading towards one of Pierre Herme’s ‘macarons et chocolat’ shops. I’ve never really been one for macaroons; they usually come in unnatural colours and grate on your teeth when you bite into them. Sufficed to say, I was quite reserved about going into this shop but I trusted my research, decided to give it a go and was very glad that I did. They were an absolutely ridiculous price so I only bought three macaroons but they were incredibly delicious and have converted me to their ways! I decided to go for the creme brulee, praline noisette and mogador (which was chocolate and passionfruit). The creme brulee was a little disappointing and didn’t have much flavour, whereas the mogador may have had too much flavour if that is even possible! It tasted entirely of chocolate and then you suddenly got a zing of passionfruit and it was shocking but I liked it. The praline noisette however was absolutely heavenly so if you ever have the opportunity, taste that macaroon!
A couple of hours later, we finally found our last stop, Jean Paul Hevin’s patisserie. I ended up spending a ridiculous 10 euros but frankly, given the standard, I don’t even care anymore. I decided to go for an eclair and a longchamp praline. The eclair was perfectly nice but a bit rich for my likely as the cream inside was chocolate, I much prefer the eclairs I can get from my local bakery as they are fresh and light. The longchamp praline however was the find of not only the trip but the year. It consisted of hazelnut cake, praline mousse and meringue and was coated in milk chocolate and chopped almonds. So many different elements but they worked so brilliantly together and I’d go back to Paris purely for this gem.
Unfortunately, this was all we had time for (unless I’ve mentioned something in a previous post) but how brilliant a day was that? Definitely worth a trip. Please excuse the photos, I couldn’t take my camera with me so had to take the photos on my phone. I hope you enjoyed reading about my adventures in Paris! I’ll be posting again soon when I get back into the kitchen, freshly inspired to bake just about everything!